Today was mostly about digging a new bed and filling it (almost) with flowers.
The site is where the hedge once held sway, dominating everything above and below ground. Since the hedge removal, the strip of ground running along the fence has been bare and scrappy (to say the least). The barrow of top soil and bedding plants we bought on Saturday at my side, I collected a load of tools and set to.
Before any preparation and planting could begin, I had to put in the traditional mowing strip. We had a few bricks left over from the load of 100 we bought last year plus some remnants from the path. They were enough to extend to beyond the dogwood.
Which reminds me…the dogwood has never really grown much since we planted it years ago. It hasn’t died but looks a bit stunted. Since the hedge demise, it has gone mad. It now looks healthy and strong and, hopefully, will create a nice screen once the office is erected. The hedge has a lot to answer for!
The mowing strip took me to lunchtime and, after lunch and a walk in the park for the poodles, I started preparing the bed for the bedding plants.
This wasn’t as simple as it sounds. There was a lot of weeds, ivy and odd things starting to grow as well as the network of roots left over from the hedge removal.
Still, with the help of two reclining poodles and a lot of entertaining programmes on Radio 4, it was finally ready for the plants.
18 snapdragons (Antirrhinum) of various colours and 18 Nicotiana, which is a tobacco plant. Not to say that we’re growing tobacco in our back garden. There are various types of tobacco plant and the one I planted is more floral than smokeable. They are also supposed to be perfumed – I’m hoping they don’t smell like cigarettes.
By the way, the word ‘Nicotiana‘ (and, subsequently, ‘nicotine’) honours the man who first presented tobacco to the French court back in 1561. Jean Nicot was actually a French ambassador in Portugal. He was responsible for the introduction of snuff as well as tobacco. He, apparently, single-handedly introduced Catherine de Medici to the joys of smoking.
But, back in the garden…I was finished by 6:30pm and sat back with a beer to look out over my work. It felt good.